Posts Tagged ‘Chris Stewart’

Press Release: Three Ways to Capsize a Boat by Chris Stewart

June 3rd, 2010


An Optimist Afloat


Stewart really is a quite gifted writer, gleefully poking fun at himself and thoroughly entertaining the reader.” —Booklist, starred review    

 A funny, appealing read.” —Library Journal

 “A pleasant read from an affable, amusing narrator.”—Kirkus Reviews

 “Chris Stewart is possibly the only travel writer who is genuinely ‘funnier than Bill Bryson’.”

—Condé Nast Traveller

 Chris Stewart had dabbled in just about every career imaginable. From some of the most glamorous jobs, such as being the original drummer in the band Genesis to the more weird and wacky—a circus performer—he had done it all . . . or almost all. On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, with his career as a sheep farmer in the doldrums, Chris is offered an unexpected and unlikely escape: the chance to skipper a Cornish crabber sailing around the Greek islands for the summer. Although he knows not the first thing about sailing (in fact, he’s never been on a boat), Chris takes the job and passes the interview. So begins the hilarious and wild adventures of THREE WAYS TO CAPSIZE A BOAT: An Optimist Afloat (Broadway Books; on sale: May 25, 2010; Trade Paperback Original; $12.99), a journey crackling with Chris’s zest for life, irresistible humor, and unerring lack of foresight.

 As Chris starts his new summer job at sea, he finds it hateful and dull. After various ill-starred episodes (setting the boat on fire not once but several times in the Aegean Sea, and getting caught in a hellish storm and thrown overboard), he decides to enrol in sailing school so as not to endanger the lives of his new employers (a retired American couple). It is here that Chris meets Tom Cunliffe, his instructor at the school, who inspires in him a love of the sea. Chris’s former indifference toward sailing transforms into a passion.

And so at the end of the summer, as he is facing the dreary prospect of going back to sheep shearing, he jumps at the chance to sail on a voyage along the Arctic Circle via Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland to discover the New World . . . in the footsteps of Viking Leif Eriksson. Five months on a small sailboat with seven other people, sopping wet, freezing cold, unutterably bored, and frightened half to death should make most people crazy. But not Chris! He takes it all in stride with unfailing optimism and good spirits. From coming to terms with the unchanging cuisine (how much more cured meat can one man eat?) to battling intense seasickness, Chris keeps his good humor and finds in the end that perhaps the best things in life are worth coming ashore for.

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CHRIS STEWART is the author of three travel memoirs about life on his farm in Spain: Driving over Lemons, A Parrot in the Pepper Tree, and The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society, which have sold more than a million copies in the UK. Chris; his wife, Ana; and their daughter, Chloë, continue to live on their farm, along with their numerous dogs, cats, chickens, sheep, and a misanthropic parrot.


An Optimist Afloat

By Chris Stewart   

Published by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

Trade Paperback Original; $12.99; 192 pages

ISBN 978-0-307-59237-8

 For more information about THREE WAYS TO CAPSIZE A BOAT or to schedule an interview with Chris Stewart, please contact Caroline Sill at 212-782-8943 or

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The Crown Publishing Group